Youth (2015) or How to explain what has no name

in #movies3 years ago (edited)

Has it ever happened to you that you know something, how it feels, what it means (or at least you think you do) but you have NO IDEA how to explain it to someone else?

Einstein used to say (Yeah. I’m quoting Einstein I know, but bear with me) that if we don’t know how to explain something, then we probably don’t understand it enough. Probably he wasn’t referring to feelings, because those can live within you for years and you still don’t know how to put it in words. Also that wasn’t even Einstein because this is just one of his most famous wrongly attributed quotes, ironically…

Another winner of a Nobel Prize, Richard Feynman, often told the story of his father teaching him the difference between knowing the name of something and truly knowing what that something is:


Now Feynman also said that this made him force himself to not learn the name of things so he could focus in understanding them. That sounds marvelous. But sometimes the goal is not just understanding…it’s sharing what you understood, and that’s the problem. Now and then you find stuff that is very hard to explain, even though it’s something that we surely know.

Imagine having to put into words what it feels to grow old, live, regret something or dream, for example. It’s incredibly difficult. Nothing ever feels accurate enough. That's why one of my favorite films (and favorite is not a word I throw around lightly) is Youth (2015) by Paolo Sorrentino.

See, Youth (Probably Sorrentino’s most ignored film ever) explores the beauty of the explicit, of what’s simple yet complicated to explain, and through that uncertainty you suddenly get it. Often ignored subjects, while experiencing them on screen they suddenly seem like the most defining moments of the character’s lives, of our lives. They undertake unimaginable meaning.

My favorite scene is probably when Jimmy Tree, an actor, tells a retired orchestra director that the two of them have the same problem. Both are recognized for their simpler work: 

In many occasions our life becomes a collection of moments in which we did nothing transcendental, nothing profound...the temptation of the easy, and that is largely what we will remember and for what we’ll be remembered. It is impossible to be every minute contemplating the magnificence of the universe, yet later Sorrentino reminds us by revealing that the “Simple Songs” are actually the character’s most emotionally drenched and important piece, that simple does not mean simplistic.

Often critics say this is a boring film that just gets lost in its aesthetics (example), and maybe I’m just reading more into it than I should, but I find every second of it justified, worth it, magical. From the first to the last scene, they’re all part of a needed process that doesn’t try to explain but just lets you watch and experience. This movie deals with feelings and situations that are often described in real life simplistically, maybe that’s why it is misunderstood and ignored.

It’s hard to explain why I like it so much, but if I had to guess it’s because Youth delicately, almost subliminally says what’s normally left unsaid. Like life itself. You think you don’t know, the right words just don’t exist, then you watch it and it’s all there inside of you, and it feels like it always has been.

The search for true meaning, for understanding, doesn’t end in just identifying beginnings and ends, but in the fleeting nature of the thing itself, it’s the unraveling. Maybe we are not supposed know, and that is all we need to change it. So when it comes to explaining it to someone else…maybe we should just show them.

 “I think is much more interesting to live not knowing than have answers that might be wrong”  -Richard Feynman


**The picture and script were extracted from the movie.


And now some Simple Songs:

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"Often critics say this is a boring film" -

Wow, that really surprises me, someone can say it about this movie :D
I have the same experience like you from the first to the last minute. It is shame that I watch it only one time, but I have to fix this mistake.And for me, this movie is several classes above Sorrentino other movie "The Great Beauty". One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the one you put it on the picture with the cows and the symphony he created from the chaos, I will remember it forever.

However, the movie has so many topics that explode your head for two hours both visually and as messages. Just a brilliant movie. The metaphors of life, meaning, beauty, art, self-seeking wishes for success are infinite.
And I will not forget the fray with the awkward, tired, "dying" world symbol - Maradona, who walks heavily past the pool, and behind him a young, blond girl pulls his cart with oxygen! Rarely real cinema! Brutal talent in every detail!

And thanks that you share "Simple Songs" I have been hearing it for 20 minutes :D

Yessss that scene with the cows is weirdly magical!

However, the movie has so many topics that explode your head for two hours both visually and as messages.

Exactly! That's why I don't understand why its so underrated...there's so many points and details where you can find inspiration and empathize with. Maybe is just because people were expecting a second Great Beauty, and this one simply sings a different tune.

Reading this, I've been congratulating myself on following you ;)
Again, fresh, interesting, exciting content - one of the few here, on Steemit. Personally, I have to admit to not liking the movie - like the critics, I thought it tried to have too much symbolism. But perhaps that is my loss, for missing such a valuable lesson.

that simple does not mean simplistic.

Love this.

Thanks girl 🙆you always support me, and I can't thank you enough for that! Having someone that actually reads and likes what I do is indescribably motivating...which makes me forgive you for not liking Youth

PD: You should try to watch it again 😀

I never heard of this movie, though your presentation intrigued me. Thanks!

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